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Food, Energy and Waste!

The 1970s was the age of music, the 1990's the age of the Internet and the World Wide Web.

We are now entering the age of food.

Never before has world cuisine been so stunning and varied, or so far short of its real potential, and never before has food been wasted on the same scale as now.

We are the first age group in the annals of mankind that throws away half of our food!

Almost half of the effort of our farmers and scientists now goes to waste or ends up in landfills.

A large percentage of fruit and vegetables never leave the farm due to in-field pre sorting operations. The discarded food is mostly left in the fields or thrown onto compost heaps. Pack houses may discard a further percentage (up to 30 % and more) of the produce received The rejected produce might be too small, too large, slightly deformed, scratched or chafed by wind, or daged by hail or the sun.

Some may be visually unacceptable for the sophisticated sector of the market, but a large percentage of the rejected products is editable! This wastage is immoral and unsustainable. A significant portion can be marketed or converted into marketable products to help feed the extra two billion new members of the global population expected by 2050!

Food vs. Oil

Today's global food supply relies on oil. On average, sixty barrels of oil is needed to produce, handle, store, transport, refrigerate and cook the food consumed by each member of the human race each year!

However, new cars are being built at a rate seven times faster than the rate at which new oil reserves are being discovered. This must lead to new energy shocks in the future.

Oil and food prices follow the same trends, which mean that oil shortages will have a significant impact on the price and supply of food.

Food vs. weapons

The world is spending about $50 billion per year on food and agricultural research and development, but $1,750 billion per year on new weapons.

So, the human race now spends 35 times more to kill each other than looking for better ways to feed one another.

So, what are the options?

Spending 35 times more on weapons than on food related issues is a wake-up call for all concerned.

Hydroponics, Aquaponics and greenhouse technology, etc. can produce up to 20 times more food in the same area as conventional agriculture. There is also much less wastage, and water savings of 85% or more vs. traditional farming methods are possible.

We will probably have to rely less on grain-based agriculture, and more on intensive systems that are less vulnerable to climate impact. This transition will probably be the solution for solving the food challenges of future generations!

Welcome! Join our group!

In a nutshell: We're a group of enthusiastic nature lovers that find ways to improve plant growth, and profits gained from horticultural activities. We focus on undercover, urban and indoor agriculture, including solar greenhouses, vertical farming, and seawater crop production systems.

Our group include scientists, horticulturists, nursery people, landscapers, commercial growers, keen gardeners and plant lovers, including indoor growers who love to grow their plants in their homes, flats, offices etc.

We're passionate about new sustainable food and flower production methods that are safe for the environment and conserve our natural resources for the benefit of communities around the globe. We are keen to grow horticultural crops and aquatic animals under protection in greenhouses, warehouses, on vertical walls and in containers using Hydroponic, Aquaponic, Aeroponic and Marinoponic technologies.

We unite farmers, growers, scientists, suppliers, technology geeks, chefs, advocates and enthusiasts. More importantly, the blog is here to include you. We're interested in your thoughts, your experiences, and your inputs. Your inputs are necessary to help us achieve a cleaner, safer, and more conscious world.

Expand your field of interest by joining us and feel free to participate in our discussions.

Feel free to visit my website www.gertventerhydroponics.org for more information and my previous blogs.

Feedback on my first blog, and responses:

Good news! Only nine contacts out of a total of 1,175 unsubscribed! [0.766%]. Fantastic!

04-04-‘12: Alan: Thank you Gert, count me in!! Kind regards!

03-04-’12: THE WORLD IS RUNNING OUT OF TIME -By the time we have come up with a way to produce vegetables on Mars we will all be extinct. When this happens, please note that evolution cannot occur as once a species becomes extinct the cycle of life no longer exists, and evolution also becomes extinct. Is humanity doomed? Can we save the Earth before it is too late, and we run out of food and water? Our purpose here on Earth is no longer a mystery. We all have a responsibility to conserve our environments. Kind regards. Michelle Coombes, Sales Coordinator, AQUATAN (PTY) LTD.

GertV. Thanks for your input. I agree with what you say and wish to add the following comments:

  • Agricultural Engineering Department at the University of Arizona in Tucson developed a collapsible greenhouse, for NASA’s Mars project. (More about this later).

  • I agree that we need to try to save the Earth. However, the human effort is just too small to have a significant influence. (Just think of the energy involved with one single Tsunami, and how helpless the global human effort was to control the damage!).

  • Freshwater is becoming an issue, but we will not necessarily run out of water. Most of the globe’s water is in the oceans and the atmosphere, which is in the form of vapour.

  • My contention is that Mother Nature (the earth) is our friend. We should use it, but not abuse it.

  • Further discussions along these lines can make this a very interesting topic indeed!

  • These discussions are exactly in line with my main motivation for running my website http://www.gertventerhydroponics.org, backing it up with regular blogs and e-mails!

02-04-‘12: Sonja BL(Pret)PrLArch(SACLAP): Hi Gert, Goed om van jou te hoor. Stuur asb. vir my die kursus inligting ek stel baie belang.

02-04-‘12: Sonja – forwarded to Bernadette/Eamonn - It might be worth our while to include this for SPD points, I attended a previous hydroponics course that was excellent.

02-04-‘12: Jan: Ek kan ongelukkig nie op u webwerf toegang verkry nie.

GertV: Probeer http://www.gertventerhydroponics.org. Ek het dit pas getoets. Dit werk.

01-04-‘12: Sandra: Baie dankie Prof, Baie interessant. Groete, Sandra.

GertV: Dankie vir die terugvoer! Daar is soveel interessante ontwikkelings aan die gang dat ek feitlik onbeperk daaroor kan rapporteer! Groete,

01-04-‘12: Luana I am very interested!! Please keep me subscribed. Regards.

GertV: Dear Luana, Thanks for the feedback! My website address is www.gertventerhydroponics.org! Kindly let me know if everything on the website is working - this is my first trial! I appreciate your feedback!

01-04-‘12: Nicholas: Dear Professor Venter, thank you for your email. For some reason, I’m not linking to your website; and when I Google you it only shows Facebook and your numerous publications. Please, would you confirm the web address for your site? Regards.

GertV: The correct website address is http://www.gertventerhydroponics.org. Kindly let me know if everything on the site is working - this is my first trial, and I'm not sure that the website will open fast enough, etc. Thanks for your feedback. Highly appreciated!

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